Post # 1
Good evening bees. It’s been a stressful few days and I feel like I could use some advice and support. Here is some back story so many of you can understand where I am coming from.
I am a single mom and have been sense the day my son was born. Not too long after having him I fell in love and was engaged to the guy I thought was the man of my dreams. He promised me the world, and vowed to never leave my son and I. A few years ago, two weeks before Christmas he left one day out of nowhere. At the time I wasn’t working because he made enough to support us both I was able to go to school full time and be able to take care of my son as well. When he left not only was I out the $15,000.00 that I had put out personally for the wedding, but he also emptied the Joint savings where I had an additional $10,000.00. Being none the wiser, he moved the money out of the account earlier in the day before he packed his things to leave. My son was young at the time, being without a job, and having no money to live, I couldn’t pay bills, We fought to survive, I had no one to turn to and we ended up practically homeless until I was able to get a job.
Every time I tell this story it breaks my heart, but in the end it has made me stronger… or so I thought. A few years later (bringing us to now) I am engaged and more in love than I ever thought previously possible. We opted for a short engagement and were planning on getting married in May 2011. I have found myself having a very hard time spending huge amounts of money on getting married. I feel that every time I get a quote I am relating it to other things in my life. For example we have a friend who is a DJ who will do out wedding for 700.00 and we found a hall for 1500. I can’t help but think that 700 will almost pay one month’s rent, and the 2200 will pay 3 months’ rent.
I feel like the wedding day is like throwing the biggest most expensive party of my life, and I am having buyer’s remorse. My FI on the other hand is the woman of the situation who feels we are doing this once and there is no expense spared. I can’t seem to bring myself to spend the money when I know what It feels like to have nothing. I can’t bring myself to spend $20,000.00 on a wedding when I know what it feels like to have your savings gone and to have to fight to live on literally nothing.
If it were up to me I would get married with my closest friends and my family in my parents back yard and have a cook out… FI on the other hand would get married Grand Ball style with 450 people there no expense spared. This conversation has brought me to tears so many times.
I need some serious but positive support.
Sorry this is so long. :o)
Post # 3
Sorry! Sometimes the excitement of being engaged puts people in a fuzzy mindset. I think most people (myself included) immediately go “WOW, I HAVE to have xxxx no matter what.” Then you start pricing out venues, vendors, etc and you have to readjust priorities. Maybe your FI is still in the phase where he hasn’t thought about the actual expense of the wedding will be. Who is paying for the wedding? Is it coming out of a savings account that was reserved for future plans (retirement, vacation, family, college, house, etc?)
I say keep an open mind and open communication with your FI. Let him enjoy the excitement. Then as he starts listing things he HAS to have, you can recommend that the two of you start writing those things down, along with estimated costs. He’ll start to see how quickly things add up. Have a serious talk about budget and whether you can afford to “spare no expense” Then when he’s done talking, let him know what your concerns are (“I think we should keep $xx.xx in the savings account in case an emergency comes up. Do we agree on that?) Then set up a realistic budget.
Then reassure your FI that regardless of what the budget is, you can find a way to put on a beautiful wedding/reception. This website is a GOLDMINE of budget-cutting ideas!
Post # 4
I’m so sorry – that’s a tough situation. I haven’t been through anywhere near the pain and financial hardship that you have, but I can relate in that I wanted a small, inexpensive, easy wedding – or better yet, an elopement! – but I’m doing the big wedding for him and his family. We live paycheck to paycheck, and we’re not paying for the wedding, other than a few minor costs here and there. I also think of every single purchase in terms of months rent. It kills me, because my parents offered to give us $10,000 for the wedding, or just to start us off as a married couple. I don’t want to say I regret our choice, because I don’t believe in living with regret… but it was one of the more difficult choices I’ve ever made, I’ll say that.
With all that said, I want to believe that your situation will turn out okay. You love this guy, and you’re committed to each other as a family. If in your heart of hearts (I’m assuming you’ve done the requisite amount of brutally honest introspection here) you know you’re both in for the long haul, it’ll be fine. Weddings are crazy expensive – even the backyard bbq can get out of control. I hope you’re not going into debt for this – I don’t think that’s reasonable, and that’s something that’s worth sticking to your guns for. However, I think – if you two CAN afford this – you need to take your fiance’s opinions into account. And he needs to respect yours. That may mean a $13K wedding instead of a $20K wedding. No big deal. He should be able to live with that, right?
I know this was kind of a rambling answer, but I’m sorry for all the pain and trouble in your past, and you are definitely not the only one struggling with the absurd prices of weddings, and buyer’s remorse and all that. Hang in there, make your opinions known, and respect your partner’s wishes as much as you can. You sound like an incredibly strong and resourceful woman and I think you’ll be fine.
Post # 5
Does your fiance know about your past situation? I would think he should be a little more sensitive to that, I would get scared over giving large chunks of money away too if I had to go through all of that ::hugs::
I know you said you’ve had this conversation before, but I think you need to again. There’s no reason he should only get his way – relationships are about compromise. Are you equally contributing to the wedding fund? Is everything going into your account or a joint account or his account? If he wants the big wedding then maybe he should front more money. He has to prioritize what is important to him about this wedding. Does he have a large family or does he just want to invite everyone he has ever met?
Post # 6
Thank you for the support. This conversation between him and I is a new one. We have talked but I know he is of the mind set that “you only do this once” and I am the “this is just one day”
We are preparing for a marriage and a life together, not just a wedding, so why does that life together have to start with a pricetag that is HUGE! I am in finance and investments professionally, and for me its hard, I can’t justifity the money spent on one day and see it as an investment… ontop of my history and the past that it seems I am still trying to overcome.
Post # 7
Xplain to him about your past and how this makes you feel spending so much on a wedding.
Post # 8
@arenyth: A lot of both. We have A joint account that only is used for paying bills. We make an equal contribution, and split everything in half. We have our own accounts where we can do what ever we want and do not have to answer to eachother about how we spend out money as long as our half is always paid.
As for the wedding, I am contributing everything I have managed to save, and his parents are contributing. His family is from money, mine is not. We grew up poor, my dad is supporting the house, my mom got laid off in a downsizing. For my family its hard. His family is a different story.
We aren’t going into debt over the wedding. I have set the standard that if we can’t pay for it in cash we can’t have it and we go without. This is a practice that we have attributed to our entire life together, not just the wedding. So far its working.
He does know about my past… all of the bitter details. We have been open and honest about everything, even the things that are hardest to share such as this.
Post # 9
I think its overwhelming when you think of the whole thing piece by piece. Ala carte like that ($700 here, $1200 there) can be daunting. You should sit down and figure out a total budget you’d be comfortable with and then rank things you want based on how important they are to you. I think you can definitely find a lot of DIY projects and budget ideas on here and other sites that will strike a happy medium between what you are willing to spend and what your FH wants. I get sticker shock sometimes too, but the best thing to do is just remember that you budgeted for it ahead of time, and you can actually afford it if you stick to the budget. And congrats on finding a guy who’s actually into the wedding planning and excited about the whole experience, he sounds like a catch!
Post # 10
I think you are on the right track. We are doing everything the same way, if it can’t be paid for in cash, then we are not doing it. Are you scaling back at home to have to pay for this? Or do you just not like seeing your savings deplete every time something is paid for? I deal with that myself, I love saving but when I need to take money out, I get really emotional and try to find ways to not touch savings… even though thats the exact reason we opened the account.
I do think you should both sit down and figure out what your priorities are for the wedding. When I started planning, FI wasn’t really involved, and basically had me do a presentation to show how much the average wedding costs, where we can save money, what we really wanted to have and how long it would take to save. Then we set a budget and automatically took the money out of our accounts so I never “noticed” that it went missing.
I know its hard to get over what happened to you, but try to get excited, your FI wants the best for you and to give you the best wedding ever 🙂 Find your own ways to save money here and there, DIY stuff. It will probably get you in the mood for the wedding too!
Post # 11
@arenyth: you nailed it! I love him and cannot see myself spending the rest of my life with any one but him. He is amazing to me and even more an amazing father to my son.
But at the end of the day I am not excited about the wedding. I wish I could skip the wedding and just be married… so Elope right… that seems like the logical option but for him he is convinced the wedding is more for our families than it is for us.
Why? And sense when? when is a wedding more for the family then the couple. Its a day you share with your family, not one you do for them…
Post # 12
I haven’t had the financial strife you have, but i can relate. I think it’s cause we’re paying for everything. But I do find that i’ve started relating everything to cost. If i buy A that’s like three months of B. I’m not sure when this happened, but I guess it’s good. I can totally sympathize with your feelings. Maybe you can pick a few things to just say .. i’m not worrying about the cost of … say … the hall.
Post # 13
@HisIrishPrincess: I feel like when I am faced with the choice of spend even 5k on a wedding or know that in a year from now if I need the money, I loose my job, my car breaks down, my son needs surgery (which actually happened), rent being paid, or even being able to buy food… that the money will be there. That the money will still be in savings. I was never an avid saver untill after this happened.
Life happens… and I know money isn’t the end all be all, but when life hits a brick wall and you have nothing you really learn to value things when you do have then, like money in savings, and a job or the ability to have a home to heat and food to make for dinner.
The money is saved, we aren’t goint into debt over the wedding, but I just can’t bring myself to spend that kind of cash on something that honestly I don’t feel is important to me.
I can’t seem to make the conversion in my mind from HUGE really EXPENSIVE PARTY to hey… this is a wedding and its expensive so deal with it. lol
Post # 14
- Wedding: August 2010 - Ocean View Villas/Jasmine Seafood Restaurant
This is a difficult situation, but certainly not uncommon. So you are definitely not alone. I had some major discussions like this with my parents. So it’s different, but I wanted to tell you what helped us come to better terms in case it might help you as well. It really helped to share my large budget spreadsheet with people and show them how the money really adds up. An upgrade here… and upgrade there and all of a sudden you’re a couple thousand over budget. It also really helped when you compare it to real life expenses as well (as you mentioned in your OP). If you can say.. that’s a wonderful xyz wedding related thing, but is it possible for us to get with something a little less so we could save for our 1 year annivesary splurge trip. Or.. if we don’t go with the chair covers, we could put an extra payment towards the car and that would mean we would save XYZ in the next 5 years. Concrete things like that sometimes help people to stay grounded in reality instead of wedding fantasy. Good luck.. money and wedding dreams are some of the toughest conversations to find compromise.
Post # 15
I feel like my FH is in Wedding la la land. I should be thankful right!! I mean seriously this boy wants the wedding of any girls dreams… if he (or his parents) were going to foot the entire bill perhaps I wouldn’t care.
I feel like I have gone into mommy self (and baby) preservation mode. Like I had my son and now all of a sudden everything is about diapers, food… and not about awesome boots and a new coach purse….
My life being baby food and the wedding being the fab coach purse that I refuse to buy…
What is wrong with me seriously!!!
Post # 16
- Wedding: August 2010 - Ocean View Villas/Jasmine Seafood Restaurant
@future.mrs.campfield: There’s nothing wrong with you. You’re being practical. But I bet there’s a part of you that really loves FI for being really into it right? You both probably really admire these qualities about one another and that’s why you work. Hopefully you’ll find a way to work it out. Consider it part of the wedding planning process. The part that not alot of people tlak about. Because I feel like everyone I know has gone through this type of convo. You’re definitely not alone. Try not to let it get you down too much… I know.. easier said then done.